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Favorite Arsenal Player Bracket: Emirates Region First Round

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The Round of 64 kicks off.

Premier League Matches Called Off Over Coronavirus Concerns Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Print out those brackets and gather around the water cooler (your Brita pitcher, in your house) because TSF’s Arsenal Favorite Player competition is here. We’re kicking things off with 8 first round matchups with the rest to come later this week. Here is the introduction post in case you missed it.

On reflection, I’ve decided to keep voting open longer for each quadrant of the bracket. I don’t see any reason to rush through this thing and hopefully more time leads to more discussion and more votes. Voting will be open for a week to give everyone time to participate. For those of you on AMP and Apple news, you’ll need to go through a browser to be able to vote because our polls get stripped out by those services.

EMIRATES REGIONAL

FIRST ROUND


#1 Ian Wright vs. #16 Emmanuel Adebayor

One of these strikers is second on Arsenal’s all-time scoring list with 185 goals in 288 appearances. The other ran the length of the pitch to tauntingly celebrate in front of the Arsenal away fans after scoring for Manchester City. Vote accordingly.

Poll

Pick a winner

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    #1 Ian Wright
    (253 votes)
  • 3%
    #16 Emmanuel Adebayor
    (9 votes)
262 votes total Vote Now


#8 Olivier Giroud vs. #9 Per Mertesacker

A matchup between the most handsome man to ever play for the Gunners and the tallest man to ever play for the Gunners (neither superlative actually confirmed). One can’t help that he’s gorgeous, and the other is the BFG, which can stand for a number of things — some fit to print, others not so much.

Poll

Pick a winner

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    #8 Olivier Giroud
    (143 votes)
  • 46%
    #9 Per Mertesacker
    (126 votes)
269 votes total Vote Now


#5 Hector Bellerin vs. #12 Alexandre Lacazette

Ah, the dangerous 5-12 matchup. One with a history of upsets in the NCAA tournament. Coincidentally, this is the only first round matchup between current Arsenal players. It feels as if both of them are polarizing figures among the supporters, so this one could go either way.

Poll

Pick a winner

This poll is closed

  • 69%
    #5 Hector Bellerin
    (149 votes)
  • 30%
    #12 Alexandre Lacazette
    (64 votes)
213 votes total Vote Now


#4 Nigel Winterburn vs. #13 Aleksandr Hleb

Winterburn has the 7th most appearances for the club in the Premier League (270). He played left back in the famous Arsenal backlines that included better-known names like Tony Adams, Steve Bould, Martin Keown, and Lee Dixon. Hleb was a key member of the Arsenal side that made the Champions League Final in 2006. Despite only spending 3 seasons in North London, he said he cried when the reality of leaving Arsenal hit him.

Poll

Pick a winner

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    #4 Nigel Winterburn
    (139 votes)
  • 31%
    #13 Aleksandr Hleb
    (64 votes)
203 votes total Vote Now


#6 Cesc Fabregas vs. #11 Bacary Sagna

The pair are both Top 20 in PL appearances for the club, with Sagna (213) barely edging Fabregas (212). Fabregas is the youngest-ever first team player and goalscorer in club history. He’s also kind-of an Invincible — he played for the first team in 2003-04 but not in the PL and did not receive a medal. Sagna was a mainstay at right back for seven seasons. He was named to the PFA team of the year twice while at the club. My enduring memory of him is every goal kick being played to him near midfield and him winning the header every single time.

Poll

Pick a winner

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    #6 Cesc Fabregas
    (157 votes)
  • 26%
    #11 Bacary Sagna
    (56 votes)
213 votes total Vote Now


#3 David Seaman vs. #14 Granit Xhaka

Seaman has the second-most PL appearances (325) in club history and an impressive trophy haul. He won the league three times, the FA Cup four, a League Cup, and a European Cup Winners Cup. In 2002, the Premier League handed out 10 Seasons Awards — he kept the most clean sheets (130) and made the Team of the Decade. Xhaka’s career at Arsenal has been up and down. He’s a first team regular, and I think he’s an under-appreciated component of what makes the team tick. But he also had that unfortunate incident with the supporters earlier this season and was stripped of the captaincy. Those fences seem to be mended now.

Poll

Pick a winner

This poll is closed

  • 91%
    #3 David Seaman
    (191 votes)
  • 8%
    #14 Granit Xhaka
    (18 votes)
209 votes total Vote Now


#7 Sylvain Wiltord vs. #10 Mesut Özil

Wiltord is the first (but not the last) true Invincible to crop up in the bracket. He scored the goal at Old Trafford that clinched the Premier League when Arsenal did a double in 2001-02. In total, he netted 49 goals for the Gunners. Mesut Özil, when purchased, set the club’s transfer fee record. While playing under Arsene Wenger, he was arguably the best playmaker in the PL (and the statistics back it up). Although his production has slowed, he can still do things with the ball and find passes that few other players in the world can.

Poll

Pick a winner

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    #7 Sylvain Wiltord
    (65 votes)
  • 69%
    #10 Mesut Özil
    (145 votes)
210 votes total Vote Now


#2 Tony Adams vs. #15 Philippe Senderos

Adams is one of three Arsenal players immortalized in statute outside the Emirates. He has the second-most overall appearances in club history, was club captain from 1988 to 2002, captained a title-winning team in three different decades, and played his entire career for Arsenal. Senderos is another one of those not-quite-Invincibles; he was on the squad but missed basically the entire season with injuries and did not receive a medal. He won the FA Cup with the club in 2004-05 and was part of the 2005-06 Champions League Final run, although he was an unused substitute in the final itself.

Poll

Pick a winner

This poll is closed

  • 99%
    #2 Tony Adams
    (202 votes)
  • 0%
    #15 Philippe Senderos
    (2 votes)
204 votes total Vote Now

And for reference, here is the overall bracket.